Challenges and Solutions
The main project challenges were to dismantle the sturgeons so as not to damage any parts that make up the whole unit. The sturgeons are in three main parts which are the base, shaft and globe lantern and lantern cradle. The three main parts are constructed with over one hundred separate parts that all need to be inspected and surveyed during the first inspection by Metalock.
We overcame these issues by submitting a detailed method statement and risk assessment to Westminster Council for their approval prior to any works starting.
Westminster Council and the heritage foundation were always consulted with regards to all operations of the works carried out. So, no works could start without their approval, plus work was carried out at night from 18.00pm to 05.00am to minimize disruption as the works were situated around a heavily pedestrianised area.
Gary Martin, Contracts Manager at FM Conway explained:
“Taking each column in turn, we’ve had to isolate the power supply and erect scaffold towers to allow us to carefully take them down, drawing on the experience of our structures team to ensure we don’t damage the columns in the process.”
There were also many risks involved, including working at height, working near water, manual handling and cyclists and pedestrians. The team actively managed health & safety by using tower scaffolding for working at height; HI-AB for all lifting works complete with lift plan and competent HI-AB operator and slinger/signaller to eliminate manual handling; plus we closed sections of the new cycleway and managed the pedestrians and cyclists by a marshal during lifting.
“Keeping the public safe during the works has been our highest priority,” continues Gary. “We’re completing the works in night-time shifts to minimise disruption and have introduced temporary closures of the pedestrian pathway running next to the columns and the nearby cycle superhighway.”